Posts filed under ‘Surf’

Mr. Moto

“Mr. Moto” was one of only a few instrumental rock recordings made by the seminal southern California surf-rock band, the Belairs. It was recorded in 1961 and though it had regional success, it never charted nationally. When the group broke up, some members went on to form Eddie and the Showmen.

My version is not a cover, but rather an arrangement as it might have been done by another instrumental rock band at the time.


March 31, 2018 at 7:02 am Leave a comment

Mr. Rebel

“Mr. Rebel” was a 1963 single by Eddie and the Showmen, a Southern California surf-rock band than was formed by some former members of the Bel-Airs, one of the very first surf-rock groups. None of their singles ever charted in the USA, but these groups are still considered to have been very influential — along with Dick Dale — in establishing the surf-rock style.

My version here is basically a cover of the original.

March 30, 2018 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Beyond the Reef

Beyond The Reef” was written by Jack Pitman in Hawaii in 1948. It was first recorded by Hawaiian artist Napua Stevens in 1949. Bing Crosby recorded the song a year later and his recording reached No. 26 on the Billboard pop chart. Elvis Presley recorded a version of the song in 1966 but this recording was never released as a single.

The Ventures included the song on their third album, Another Smash, in 1961. While inspired by them, my instrumental arrangement is quite different from theirs.

March 28, 2018 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment


“Torquay” was originally a surf rock hit for the Fireballs in 1959, recorded at Norman Petty’s now legendary studio in Clovis, New Mexico. The Ventures included it as an album track on the second studio album (The Ventures) released in 1961.

My arrangement is based more on the Ventures approach. Whatever the version, the similarity to the Champs’ 1958 hit “Tequila” is unmistakeable.

March 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

Changing Tides

“Changing Tides” is an album track from the Ventures’ 1963 album “Surfing”. It’s actually much more of a moody, ambient composition that a surf-rocker. I have made a few minor changes to the original for my arrangement.

January 1, 2018 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Penny Lane

Penny Lane” was written primarily by Paul McCartney but credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. The lyrics refer to a real street in Liverpool, England.

Recorded during the Sgt. Pepper album sessions, and intended for inclusion, “Penny Lane” was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-sided single, along with “Strawberry Fields Forever”, following pressure from EMI, the Beatles record company, after several months absence of new material. The song made its LP debut on the US version of the band’s album, Magical Mystery Tour.

In my opinion, this is one of the Beatles’ best songs from a music perspective. It has some very interesting chord changes as well as changes of key. This makes it very suitable for an instrumental rendering.

November 10, 2017 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

Slotted in the Barrel

“Slotted in the Barrel” is an original composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more sophisticated musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. This one is in a Ventures/Surf Rock style.

October 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

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